Pronto is just one year old, and already people have pedaled the equivalent distance from the earth to the moon and halfway back. That’s not too shabby considering the average trip on Pronto is less than 20 minutes and only 14 percent of Seattle residents live within an easy walk of a station.
Well, that could all change, but it’s going to need your support. We’ve already outlined the city’s plan for a “massive” expansion of the bike share system. If funded fully, the system could be within an easy walk of 62 percent of Seattle residents. The expansion is especially focused on access to transit and reaching more low-income residents.
Mayor Ed Murray proposed funding for the expansion with a $5 million one-time budget expenditure in 2016, hopefully bolstered by more funding from a Federal grant request.
You can support the mayor’s budget funding today at a public hearing on the 2016 budget. 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers in City Hall.
The Seattle Times Editorial Board has come out against the Pronto proposal arguing in part that we should build out the Bicycle Master Plan first. That’s rich coming from a Board that also doesn’t want to pass Move Seattle, our city’s current effort to fund all kinds of transportation improvements including the Bicycle Master Plan.
Pronto is urging members to support the budget at the hearing and by emailing City Council. Here’s the email they sent:
On Tuesday, October 20th, the Seattle City Council has an important budget hearing that could have a big impact on the future of bike share in Seattle.
Will you take a minute to tell your City Councilmember that you think bike share is important and should expand?
Pronto is excited to see that the Mayor is proposing funding to help bring bike share to more Seattle neighborhoods. Residents and visitors have taken over 145,00 trips using Pronto, and each one represents a choice to get around the city in an affordable and healthy way that helps reduce traffic congestion. With extra resources, Pronto can extend its network with more stations and bikes to become an even more important part of Seattle’s transportation system.
Some suggested language for a note to Council is below. It’s important that you send this note as soon as possible as the hearing is tomorrow.
If you’re free tomorrow night (Tuesday, 10/20) at 5:30pm, and want to give your comments in person, you can attend the hearing at:
600 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Thanks in advance for your time and helping push for a bigger, better Pronto.
The Pronto Team
Sample Letter to Seattle City Council
Re: Support a Bigger, Better Bike Share
I live at [INSERT ADDRESS], and I ride Pronto. It’s a great service that gives me more choices for getting around Seattle. However, it would be far more useful to me and thousands of other Seattleites if the service were expanded and covered additional neighborhoods. It would offer me, and others like me, another option to get where I need to go or connect to the bus and light rail.
Right now, the City has the opportunity to allocate $5 million to help expand Pronto, just 1% of SDOT’s budget request this year. This relatively small amount of funding would allow thousands more people to take advantage of this affordable and healthy form of transportation and help minimize congestion on our streets.
That’s why I hope you will support this important piece of Seattle’s budget.